206. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44307/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Traffic Legislation)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The maximum weight that a vehicle can tow is in accordance with the manufacturer’s design specifications. The towing capacity of a vehicle can be verified by consulting the owner’s handbook or the manufacturer’s statutory plate affixed to the vehicle. The towing capacity weight is the maximum weight of the trailer that the vehicle can tow. The towing capacity of any vehicles should never be exceeded. 
The maximum weight that can be t...

207. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to waive the fee for disabled parking permits for renewal and subsequent permits after the first two year permit expiries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44318/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Disabled Drivers Permits)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Disabled Parking Permit is available to people, as drivers and passengers, living in Ireland with a permanent disability, medical condition, severe mobility difficulties and to people who are registered blind.  
The disabled parking scheme is operated on behalf of my Department by the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA), who are empowered to issue disabled parking permits.  As...

208. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the policy of his Department regarding the development of the road transport links linking Waterford and Limerick and Tuam and Letterkenny; if these roads will receive priority in the national capital programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44344/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The draft National Planning Framework which is the subject of public consultation at present looks at planning policy over the time horizon to 2040.  Once the Framework is finalised, it is envisaged that the proposed 10 year investment plan will set out the projects/programmes which can be undertaken over the next capital planning period.  In the interim, the extra allocations being made available as a result of the Capital Plan Revi...

209. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the allocation for the local authority swimming pool grant fund for 2018. (Question 44360/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Swimming Pool Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 212 together.
Full details on the allocations for each of my Department’s subheads for 2018 will be set out, as usual, in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV).
The 2018 provision for the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programmes will cover all existing commitments made under the programme. There are four swimming pool projects in the current programme and the priori...

210. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the allocation for the sports capital grant for 2018. (Question 44361/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Sports Capital Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Full details on the allocations for each of my Department’s subheads for 2018 will be set out, as usual, in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV). The allocation will be sufficient to cover all existing commitments under previous rounds of the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) as well as new commitments under the 2017 round of the programme. In this regard, by the closing date of 24th February, a record numbe...

211. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to finalise the completion of a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44362/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Swimming Pool Programme Status)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): In relation to the proposed swimming pool at the Campus, in January 2016 my Department contacted local authorities and sought expressions of interest in a limited round of swimming pool allocations for the construction of new swimming pools and/or the refurbishment of existing pools. Of the expressions of interest received, only three were for new pools, two of which were valid and both in Dublin, one i...

212. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to replenish the funding and-or reopen the local authority swimming grant scheme in 2018. (Question 44363/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Swimming Pool Programme)

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): I propose to take Questions Nos. 209 and 212 together.
Full details on the allocations for each of my Department’s subheads for 2018 will be set out, as usual, in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV).
The 2018 provision for the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programmes will cover all existing commitments made under the programme. There are four swimming pool projects in the current programme and the priori...

213. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the annual steady State funding requirement to maintain each national and regional port on an annual or periodic basis. (Question 44389/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Ports Development)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): In line with National Ports Policy published in 2013, no State funding is provided to any commercial port company.
National Ports Policy 2013 outlines that Irish ports must operate on a commercial basis without recourse to State funding for any activities. Ports are expected to fund their activities and capital infrastructure investment from their own resources.
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214. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there is a risk that some regional ports could be building up significant infrastructure deficits due to the directive advanced in the national ports policy 2013 that no further Exchequer funding will be provided for port infrastructure development; and if his Department has undertaken reviews that show there is an adequate level of maintenance investment in national and regional ports. (Question 44390/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Ports Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy has referred to, in line with National Ports Policy published in 2013, no Exchequer funding is provided to any commercial port company. 
Irish ports have operated on a commercial basis without recourse to State funding since their corporatisation in the 1990s. Ports are expected to fund their activities, including all maintenance works and capital infrastructure investment from their own resources.
In keeping with Natio...

215. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount by which he will increase the PSO to each of the CIÉ companies in view of his allocation under budget 2018. (Question 44391/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Public Transport Subsidies)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Throughout the year I committed publicly to further increasing Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding levels in the future as resources allowed.  In Budget 2018 I secured an 8% increase in the overall Exchequer funding available for PSO services throughout the country. This means that in 2018 over €285 million will be allocated via the National Transport Authority (NTA) to support the continued delivery of these socially necessary b...

216. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of the electrification of both the northern rail line to Balbriggan and the Maynooth line; when he anticipates this project will go to planning; and when it will begin construction. (Question 44392/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 224 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Transport Strategy for the GDA 2016-2035 proposes implementation of the overall DART Expansion Programme involving electrification of the Northern line as far as Drogheda, the Kildare Line to Hazelhatch, the Sligo line to Maynooth in the west and to the M3 Parkway and construction of the DART Underground Tunnel. The...

217. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the NTA will complete the business case appraisal for the revised metro north; and if funding for the project will be contingent on the cost benefit and wider economic benefit ratios contained in the plan. (Question 44393/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, 227 and 228 together.
The Capital Plan, Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021, was published in September 2015 and set out the Government’s budgetary framework for public capital investment in Ireland over the period 2016-2021. The Capital plan confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and that provided funding to pr...

218. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will publish the business case appraisal for the revised metro north including unredacted estimates of the cost benefit ratios for the project. (Question 44394/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, 227 and 228 together.
The Capital Plan, Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021, was published in September 2015 and set out the Government’s budgetary framework for public capital investment in Ireland over the period 2016-2021. The Capital plan confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and that provided funding to pr...

219. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the planned capacity of the revised metro north in terms of passenger per hour per direction and maximum future scalability; and if, due to the revision of the platform length, the revised metro project will only be able to handle capacities (details supplied). (Question 44395/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, 227 and 228 together.
The Capital Plan, Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021, was published in September 2015 and set out the Government’s budgetary framework for public capital investment in Ireland over the period 2016-2021. The Capital plan confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and that provided funding to pr...

220. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he and the NTA will reconsider the Clongriffin spur to Dublin Airport or another heavy rail connection to the airport, in view of the ambition in the draft national planning framework to enable growth for Dublin (details supplied). (Question 44396/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Transport Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) 2016-2035 provides the overarching framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the GDA over the next two decades.  The strategy proposes the new Metro North project as the optimum long term public transport solution on the Swords/airport/city centre corridor.  It does not includ...

221. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department or a body under its aegis has explored proposals to relocate services, facilities and capacities from Dublin Port to another national port or port of regional significance as a means of reducing congestion and other issues in Dublin city; and if so, the study and-or conclusions it reached. (Question 44397/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Ports Policy)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Government published a National Ports Policy (NPP) in March 2013. Its core objective is to facilitate a competitive and effective market for maritime transport services. In keeping with National Ports Policy, the provision of adequate and efficient capacity into the future is a crucial strategic objective.  A copy of is available on my Department’s website at http://www.dttas.ie/maritime/english/national-ports-policy-0
The planni...

222. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the options his Department and-or TII are considering to achieve the objective of key future growth enablers for County Cork under the national planning framework draft with regard to enhanced regional connectivity through improved average journey times by road. (Question 44398/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 222 and 223 together.
The draft National Planning Framework which is the subject of public consultation at present looks at planning policy over the time horizon to 2040.  Once the Framework is finalised, it is envisaged that the proposed 10 year investment plan will set out the projects/programmes which can be undertaken over the next capital planning period.  In the interim, the extra allocations be...

223. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the options his Department and TII are considering to achieve the objective of key future growth enablers for County Limerick under the national planning framework draft with regard to enhanced regional connectivity through improved average journey times by road to counties Cork and Waterford. (Question 44399/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Network)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 222 and 223 together.
The draft National Planning Framework which is the subject of public consultation at present looks at planning policy over the time horizon to 2040.  Once the Framework is finalised, it is envisaged that the proposed 10 year investment plan will set out the projects/programmes which can be undertaken over the next capital planning period.  In the interim, the extra allocations be...

224. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the progress and spend to date on the DART expansion programme; the stage it is currently at; and when the project will finish planning stage and begin construction phase. (Question 44400/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Rail Network Expansion)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 224 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Transport Strategy for the GDA 2016-2035 proposes implementation of the overall DART Expansion Programme involving electrification of the Northern line as far as Drogheda, the Kildare Line to Hazelhatch, the Sligo line to Maynooth in the west and to the M3 Parkway and construction of the DART Underground Tunnel. The...

225. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding that has been spent on public transport projects (details supplied) to date. (Question 44401/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Public Transport Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The Capital Plan ‘Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021’ published in September 2015, confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and provided the following funding to progress key public transport projects included in the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) ‘Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035’:
- €700 million for planning, design and initial construc...

226. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of funding that has been spent on road projects (details supplied) to date. (Question 44402/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Projects Expenditure)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a ma...

227. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if local authorities are now taking into consideration benefits from the metro north when determining development levies; and if not, when he anticipates they will begin to do this. (Question 44403/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, 227 and 228 together.
The Capital Plan, Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021, was published in September 2015 and set out the Government’s budgetary framework for public capital investment in Ireland over the period 2016-2021. The Capital plan confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and that provided funding to pr...

228. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of the €140 million prior expenditure that has been lost from the revision of the design of the metro north project. (Question 44404/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Light Rail Projects)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): I propose to take Questions Nos. 217 to 219, inclusive, 227 and 228 together.
The Capital Plan, Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021, was published in September 2015 and set out the Government’s budgetary framework for public capital investment in Ireland over the period 2016-2021. The Capital plan confirmed a €9.6 billion capital envelope for transport over seven years and that provided funding to pr...

229. Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the realignment of the N73 at Clogher Cross to Waterdyke, Shanballymore, Mallow, County Cork; when the ground works will commence; and the timeframe for this work. (Question 44405/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Road Projects Status)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.  Within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects is a ma...

230. Deputy Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the frequent unannounced cancellation of trains on the Waterford to Limerick line will be stopped in view of the fact this is undermining the credibility of the service and is being used by Iarnród Éireann as a reason for proposing the closure of this railway line; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44413/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Rail Services)

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): The issue raised is a matter for Irish Rail and I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the Company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.
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